Radio Shack Responds To Livestrong Scandal

Good news for anyone who has accidentally donated a dollar to Livestrong while making a purchase at Radio Shack — the company is willing to give you your money back. The company sent us this statement to address the problem and solution:

Tens of thousands of customers have eagerly contributed to our point-of-sale collection for LIVESTRONG in just the first few weeks. As 100% of every $1 point-of-sale donation goes directly to LIVESTRONG, we believe it’s been tremendously successful so far. But RadioShack doesn’t intend for any customer to feel compelled to support the fight against cancer. It is a personal choice. We believe the directions are clear on the point-of-sale device, but we regret the few errors that apparently have occurred among the tens of thousands of contributions received so far. Customers who believe they’ve made the donation in error should simply contact us at customercare@radioshack.com or 1-800-THE-SHACK so that we can facilitate the refund process. And in the days ahead, we will use your feedback to remind our employees again about how to manage this process carefully and correctly. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

That should settle that. Shoppers, dig out your recent Radio Shack receipts and see how much of a refund you’ve got coming.

Comments

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  1. Keres says:

    “But RadioShack doesn’t intend for any customer to feel compelled to support the fight against cancer. It is a personal choice.”

    Wow.

  2. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Clever, Radio Shack.

    “But RadioShack doesn’t intend for any customer to feel compelled to support the fight against cancer. It is a personal choice.”

    They’re practically saying, “you horrible, selfish people who want your $1 back because you hate people with cancer.”

    Perhaps it could have been worded differently…but then again, The Shack can’t be encouraging its customers to donate to other worthy charities that also fight cancer.

    • dbirney says:

      I agree completely with that. It is just plain rude. Just because you don’t want to donate to one charity does not mean you don’t want to support cancer research.

      • Keavy_Rain says:

        Yeah, like, maybe I don’t want to support LiveStrong because another Cancer Research NFP has less overhead, which means more of my money goes to research.

        I mean, does “The Shack” really believe those of us who are otherwise good people hate those afflicted with Cancer because we’re upset over an unexpected charge?

        Oh, and for those “But it’s only $1″ people, a dollar is a lot to some of us and maybe we wanted that dollar, ya know? Don’t automatically assume we’re jerks. Get to know us and let us prove to you that we’re jerks. Seriously, “The Shack.” You could have at least let me “borrow” some money off of you and knock up your sister before insulting me.

        Sheesh!

    • Smashville says:

      I would like to know how much of Livestrong’s money goes towards making Nike-branded Livestrong apparel.

    • ninja-meh says:

      Maybe if they wrote “Hey Guys, if you want your money back, you hate everyone with cancer”, it’d come across friendlier?

    • diasdiem says:

      I am personally unaffected by such wording. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s a little chilly here so I’m going to build a fire using children’s letters to Santa, then sit back and enjoy a nice puppy sandwich and a tall glass of kitten juice.

    • LESSTHANKIND says:

      That part cracked me up. “You’re either with us, or you’re WITH CANCER. Cancer-lover! But far be it from US to FORCE you to support the fight against cancer, since you’re obviously FOR CANCER.”

      I have monthly donations set up for the five causes I feel the most strongly about. A few of them are not as high-profile as Livestrong, and therefore have a harder time rustling up donations. They really *need* what little I can afford to give. So if I’m going to give a dollar here and a dollar there, it’s going to be to organizations I choose. Not the ones Radio Shack chooses. (Despite my obvious love for cancer.)

  3. masso says:

    Why not make it a policy to let the cashier give back $1 right then and there at the counter?

    • oloranya says:

      If the person caught it right then they can, but a lot of people aren’t noticing it until they’ve left the store., and I doubt many people want to spend the gas $ to drive back for a $1 refund.

      • masso says:

        So? Let them go back to the cashier with the receipt and give them back $1 and cross the item on the receipt with a marker or something

  4. duckfat says:

    I’d like to actually see someone go into RS and ask for their donation to fight cancer back. You’d haveto be the biggest douchebag in the world to ask for your dollar back.

    • That's Consumer007 to you says:

      Only if you voluntarily gave it to begin with. There is nothing douchey about getting your money back if it was taken without your consent, no matter when you realize it has happened.

      What is douchey and WRONG is to inflict “forced giving option” on every single person’s transaction that has nothing to do with the charity. The people don’t come to Radio Shack to donate to Livestrong, they come to buy stuff. If they want to give to that charity, they can find his website.

      What is next, a homeless person on every aisle screaming at you for food and donations?

      The whole request to give at the register (and hold the transaction hostage with guilt in the process) is completely inappropriate and offensive.

      • hotdogsunrise says:

        Exactly. Maybe I already give money to other cancer charities, and I just don’t want to give anything to Livestrong. It’s up to the person to make that choice. It’s not fair if the choice was made for them.

        Now whether this was really forced on anyone, I don’t know.

      • theSuperman says:

        I dont see how it is douchey to not want your one dollar to go towards RadioShacks large donation and tax writeoff they will get following said donation. Its not like RadioShack is matching dollar for dollar or something.

    • Feezybeezy says:

      Why would one be consider a douchebag for asking for the dollar that was unknowingly taken away from them?

  5. ninja-meh says:

    “But RadioShack doesn’t intend for any customer to feel compelled to support the fight against cancer.”

    Thanks RadioShack for making anyone wanting a refund feel like an ass.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      I was thinking the exact same thing.. Way to rub it in Radio Shack.

    • lotussix says:

      how would you have worded it to make it better?

      • treimel says:

        By wording it “But RadioShack doesn’t intend for any customer to feel compelled to support the fight against cancer. It is a personal choice.” the strong implication is that the refund-seekers do not support the fight against cancer. That’s a BS way to word it because for all the Shack knows, some of these folks may contribute millions to fighting cancer, but still don’t want to get ripped off into involuntarily supporting a particular charity at a particular time just because they stopped to buy some batteries. They could have left out the “fight against …” language out entirely and simply gone straight to the “we believe ..” sentence.

      • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

        How about a simple “We regret the error and will take action to ensure that it does not happen again. Customers who donated without their knowledge will receive a full refund. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

        Short, sweet, to the point, and acknowledges an error without the passive-aggressive bullshit of the original.

    • ninja-meh says:

      I would have just left that part out completely.

    • ninja-meh says:

      Along with “It is a personal choice.”

  6. nofelix says:

    Few people will ask for the dollar back, so this is basically meaningless.

  7. dolemite says:

    So they are going to probably spend several dollars per person (database management, mailing arrangement, postage, paper for the rebates) in order to mail them $1 rebate.

  8. twophrasebark says:

    I’m a little suspicious about this whole thing. Why were RS employees pushing this so hard? It’s a little strange. Why would they care? Was RS giving them some kind of incentive? Was there a contest to see which store or employee could get the most donations?

    • theSuperman says:

      Managers might have offered an incentive to the employee who sold the most. Or to throw a pizza party for the store that “sells” the most.

    • 2Legit2Quit says:

      Nope there were no incentives directly from corporate. Manager may have provided some incentive, but I honestly doubt it.

    • BytheSea says:

      To feel a little better about themselves in their thankless, miserable, minimum wage job at a stupid outdated, hated store?

  9. lord egregious says:

    So basically Radioshack won this fight. They managed to get way more donations to their name than they normally would have and now say you can get the money back if your soul in empty. I’m glad to not work at a Radioshack anymore, I can’t imagine some of the usual folks coming in and complaining about this.

    • Gorbachev says:

      It doesn’t have to end in a win for RadioSham.

      Any company that announced it’ll honor RadioSham’s refund offer and give $10 on top of that to charity would have an easy win in their hands.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      They didn’t win anything. I don’t care what Radio Shack thinks of me – it doesn’t know how much I donate, or to which organizations. It can call be heartless all it wants, but I think that’s pretty hypocritical coming from a company that basically just stole money from me.

  10. friendlynerd says:

    This is way less about apologizing than making the people who complained feel bad.

  11. vladthepaler says:

    It seems to me that one might support the fight against cancer but not support giving Radio Shack the tax benefits of one’s donation. But Radio Shack’s strategy seems to be, take a customer’s money and then shame him into letting them keep it. Tempting to go in there, pocket a few items, and if caught say I’m giving them to livestrong (caps lock WTF?) so it’s ok.

    Though I expect they’re not at fault, this debacle reflects poorly on livestrong as well. I’m guessing it’s a legitimate charity, but Radio Shack is turning it into a scam.

    • XTC46 says:

      What tax benefit? For each dollor they receive, they can write off 1 dollar as a donation. Donating just cancels out the income, its not like you can donate 1 dollar and deduct 15 from your income, its 1 to 1, if anything, they are losing money on it becasue they are processing the thing and the employee is spending time ringing it up.

      • myrna_minkoff says:

        I’m not even sure Radio Shack has to do it as a tax write-off. It sound like the money goes directly to Livestrong, therefore isn’t income to RS.

        If customers who donate get a receipt for it (which they clearly do) THEY can get a tax deduction. And you can be damn sure IRS doesn’t let two parties take a deduction for the same donation.

  12. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Waiting to see those “tens of thousands” of donators dwindle to several hundred…

  13. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    “Tens of thousands of customers have eagerly contributed…but we regret the few errors that apparently have occurred…”

    Yeah, 100 percent goes to LiveStrong, I believe it, for sure. And how much of a kickback does the writer of RadioShack’s letter get for arranging the scheme?

    Bastards.

  14. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    This is corporate-speak. They didn’t explain whether there’s some sort of incentive for the stores or employees to force the donation on customers.

  15. P_Smith says:

    If someone patted a woman’s breast and said, “Why is that so different than a pat on the back? I was trying to be friendly!” it would never be tolerated and the person patted would rightfully be indignant.

    The Shlock did pretty much the same thing and tried to make the victims feel guilty.

  16. PsiCop says:

    Let’s see. References to “tens of thousands of customers [who] have eagerly contributed” to Livestrong, coupled with a comment that RS “doesn’t intend for any customer to feel compelled to support the fight against cancer.”

    Could they have done any better job of saying, “We’ll refund people their money, but they really shouldn’t be asking for it back”?

    Look, I get that RS believes “the fight against cancer” is important. I also get that they think Livestrong is a good way to do that. What I don’t get, is why they assume none of their customers could not, already, have been donating to that cause, or to others of their own choice?

    Once again, a corporation decides unilaterally what’s in the best interests of its customers, without asking them what they think, and with the assumption that disagreement with their subjective value judgement is not acceptable.

    Enough already. If RS wants to support Livestrong, they should do so … with their own freakin’ money. Swiping their customers’ money, handing it to Livestrong, then implying that customers should be happy they did it, is just not acceptable. It’s unethical at best, and … depending on the process by which they did it … illegal at worst.

  17. grapedog says:

    Ha! That’s awesome! Well done RadioShack…take the money, and make the people who were too idiotic to not look at the receipt feel MORE like tools after they find out they donated an extra dollar.

    I ask for, and check, a receipt after every purchase I make…

    Of course, I also don’t shop at Radio Shack…

  18. coym says:

    Haha “…RadioShack doesn’t intend for any customer to feel compelled to support the fight against cancer.” I like how this is worded so that it’s giving off the impression that people are dbags for complaining about helping fight cancer. Anyone else get that impression?

    • crazedhare says:

      I agree with you completely, and after losing a child this year to cancer I find Radio Shack’s words in that regard really incredibly offensive. I am part of a brain tumor research group, I have been invited by legislators to meet with them regarding cancer funding, I have professionally written about it, my daughter (in life and after her death) participated in research studies for cancer treatment, and I support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where my daughter was a patient. For Radio Shack to cast my (or anyone else’s) unwillingness to donate to THEIR campaign, their charity of choice and their tax break as my disinterest in “supporting the fight against cancer” is disgusting. Solely as a result of that, I will NEVER set a toe in another Radio Shack.

      I would ask Consumerist to pass along the contact’s name, so that I can respond to them or to point them to this comment. Their response is disgusting, and personally, I want an apology. I realize my tone might sound unreasonably angry, but they have offended me to the core.

      • Muthafodder says:

        Re: bunnymare

        You are justified in being offended to the core…this statement by RS is totally unbelievable…I would not have believed it had I not read it with my own eyes.

        The fact that anyone in public relations let alone management approving the above statement for release dumbfounds me…DUMBFOUNDS ME…

    • ColoradoShark says:

      Yes, I saw that snide remark. One step away from “It’s OK if we have selfish customers who don’t care about anyone but themselves”.

    • myrna_minkoff says:

      Seriously. This is so passive-aggressive, it sounds like my grandma’s Christmas cards.

    • pimpybra says:

      100% exactly how I felt when I first read it. I scoffed and couldn’t believe the nerve.

      I’m upset about the “Customers who believe they’ve made the donation in error…” part, as some customers explicitly said “NO, I don’t want it” and were presented with no options/etc.

  19. Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

    I’m reading all these comments about how Radio Shack will get a tax break for these donations…

    How is that possible, unless they are cheating on their corporate tax returns?

    IANAL… but it seems pretty logical to me that these “tens of thousands” of donations cannot possibly be a tax break. The donations are not coming from Radio Shack, they are coming from people who SHOP at Radio Shack, out of their own wallets.

    If you were to give me $1000 and ask me if I can drop it off at the local Red Cross office as a donation, do I get the tax deduction for a charitable donation? Of course not, it’s not my money, it’s my friend’s money, and he would be eligible for that.

    Just the same, if a customer of Radio Shack (sorry, I refuse to call them “The Shack”) donates regularly to these “checkout charities” when shopping (say, donated once every day for a year, at Radio Shack, the supermarket, the drug store, etc) then they have a $365 tax deduction, and have 365 receipts to back it up if audited.

    If Radio Shack is taking a tax break for these donations, I hope they get audited.

    • myrna_minkoff says:

      The problem is, most people really have no understanding of tax law, and yet think they are experts on the topic.

      I deal with this daily at work.

      • Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

        Since you deal with this daily, is my assesment about this correct?

        I can’t see how RS would get a tax break from donations that customers give — The only thing RS should get a tax break on should be any amount that they contribute from their OWN coffers, as in a “matching donation”

  20. Underscore_Lysdexia says:

    Wow that statement REEKS of guilt trip

  21. CTAUGUST says:

    “But RadioShack doesn’t intend for any customer to feel compelled to support the fight against cancer.”

    You have to be kidding. Someone not letting Radio Shack snag a dollar for LIVESTRONG because they may already give another way or do not trust Radio Shack with their donation means that customers is not “compelled to support the fight against cancer.” REALLY? If you don’t give Radio Shack a dollar, you don’t support cancer research??

    Also, it has been reported that many are NOT getting prompts to donate on the point-of-sale devices but Radio Shack has spun this to say “our customers are stupid, we make this very clear”.

    Who is handling Public Relations for Radio Shack? They just released a statement saying those who donated but didn’t mean to can’t read simple instructions and that those who don’t donate at their stores do not support cancer research. REALLY?

    I hope the Attorney Generals in a few states take Radio Shack to task over how this has been handled.

  22. OKH says:

    It’s a dollar. For cancer. Aren’t there better fights to be fought?

    • GMFish says:

      It’s a dollar. For cancer. Aren’t there better fights to be fought?

      Feel free to post your credit card information on this site. I’d guess there are millions of people who’d love to take a dollar from you to donate to their worthy causes. Oh wait, when it happens to just you, suddenly you’re upset? Mmmm… it’s only one dollar at a time.

      • That's Consumer007 to you says:

        lol, high five. It’s amazing how condescending and judgmental so many people are about others’ complaints UNTIL something happens to them and how quickly they change their tune.

    • ben says:

      I don’t think anyone is saying that giving money to a cancer charity is a terrible idea. That’s not the fight. The fight is that no one should be taking money from you without your permission, whether it’s $1, one penny, or $1000.

    • That's Consumer007 to you says:

      No. It’s corporations engaging in social engineering highjacking your life without your consent. It’s just as wrong as inserting a speaker in your car with an “advertisement device” that overrides your car stereo at regular intervals, and forcing it on you simply as a condition of buying the car (or worse won’t let you start the car without listening to the ad first.) Or making you listen to an ad before you get a 911 operator. Or inserting little music devices (like the ones in greeting cards now) on every product in the store so they all sing out loud at you from the cupboard to buy more of them. Or closing a web page you open or blocking it and screaming an advertisement at you forcing to close a pop up only to get yet another one so you can’t read the website.

      You may laugh all you like but the above examples are EXACTLY where we are headed if this kind of situation at RS stands.

      People have a right to have a streamlined no-nonsense shopping experience without advertising or charity harassment, and Radio Shack is violating that right, and trying to set a precedence that no you don’t. That is what this is about, you buying into their PR bullshit otherwise is just, well, kinda sad for you.

    • OKH says:

      I won’t respond to the ad homs and just reiterate the point that its a dollar for cancer research.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        But not all charities are created equal. They all espouse to do the right things, but many of them are run in ways that some people do not agree with. Should people not be able to make their own decisions as to where their own dollars go? If I disagree with how Livestrong is run, why shouldn’t I vote with my dollars and go elsewhere? Other places, like St. Jude, are also fighting cancer and other diseases. It’s not the dollar, it’s the principle of forcing people to donate. Yes, it’s only $1, but that $1 was taken without consent.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        And there were absolutely NO ad hominem attacks in any of those replies!

    • crazedhare says:

      The thing is, people have different causes close to their hearts and we none of us have enough money to support everything. I support pediatric brain tumor research because my daughter died less than a year ago from a brain tumor, she was only 2 months old when diagnosed and almost 10 months old when she died. I care so deeply about other cancers, such as leukemia and breast or prostate cancer, I sincerely do – but pediatric cancers and especially rare pediatric brain cancers receive many orders of magnitude less funding. And so I choose to support my own particular cancer charities. A dollar to this campaign is a dollar less sent to St. Jude, where my daughter was a patient, or the Children’s Brain Tumor Research Foundation, of which I am a member.

    • floraposte says:

      It’s actually a dollar for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, not directly to fighting cancer. While it’s a pretty decent charity, there are others that would actually do more to fight cancer with that buck.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Does it really matter what the dollar is for if they take it without your permission?

  23. dreamfish says:

    It also doesn’t seem to address the issue that a number of customers were *sure* they didn’t select the donation option when paying but found it was added on anyway. Can RS people manually add on the donation at the till and, if so, will RS investigate unauthorised ‘donations’?

  24. GMFish says:

    We believe the directions are clear on the point-of-sale device…

    They have it backwards. If I go to the checkout to buy something, I should only have to pay for that something. If the clerk makes an additional offer to me, to buy batteries or to donate money, it should be his or her burden to ensure it is not added to my total. Why should I have to do anything when, 1., I did not want it in the first place and 2. I told the clerk I did not want it?!

    To expect us to shoulder the burden and actively deny what I never wanted to buy and what I already said I didn’t want, is simply asinine. That’s not the way checking out should work. In fact, it’s the complete opposite of how it should work.

  25. That's Consumer007 to you says:

    I really resent the smarmy superior condescending attitude from RS in this communique, they were the ones in the wrong (obviously), for forcing charity “options” on people during their transactions, then they use false guilt in this thing to make people feel like heels when they correctly object to it. Giving to charity is fine, but this whole “program” IS NOT a wonderful thing. It is twisting people’s arm and it is wrong. No, it’s not really a “personal choice”, it’s a coerced peer pressure “choice” in front of an audience that is harder to say “No” to (and they know that) when the choice should not be presented at all! I’m surprised there aren’t subsequent screens after you select no (or they don’t make the cashiers) that say:

    “What’s the Matter with You?”
    “What kind of Christian are you?”
    “Are you always a selfish asshole?”
    “How would you like it if you got cancer?”
    “So you mean you WANT people to die from cancer?”
    “Are you sure you don’t want to give? —> Next screen: Are you really sure?”

    This is making me want to start a whole new movement AGAINST any company that does this at the register. The arrogance and disrespect for paying customers is just unbelievable.

    RS and Livestrong should both be sued under FTC for interfering with commerce.

    Oh and their line at the beginning about the numbers of “eager contributors”? That is absolute spun PR bullshit. I bet most people resent it, not eagerly contribute to it, and they are hardly credible as the source of data on the matter.

  26. ben says:

    What would settle it is if businesses didn’t ask for charitable donations to third parties in the first place. I said this in the original post on this topic, but I’ll reiterate it here. If Radio Shack wants to donate some of their money to a charity, good for them, and I’m all for it. If I want to donate money to a charity, I can do that directly. I don’t need or want Radio Shack doing it for me.

    It’s nice that they’re saying that 100% of the donation goes directly to LiveStrong, but is that always the case with every business collecting money for a charity? Who knows? I don’t want to have to try to figure that out when I’m checking out at a store. It’s also none of RS’s business which charities I choose to donate to.

    If they want to put up a sign or something encouraging people to donate to LiveStrong or another charity, sure, I guess that’s ok, but I don’t need you to actually collect the money for me.

    • GMFish says:

      If Radio Shack wants to donate some of their money to a charity…

      Radio Shack wants it both ways. It wants to say that it donated millions of dollars (from its customers) but not have to pay for it itself.

    • sharkzfanz says:

      I 100% disagree. Since they are not mandating and making you donate I do not see an issue. It is like Safeway or another grocery store saying would you like to donate $1.00 to breast cancer treatment? I see no issue at all. Less then 5 people have reported seeing an issue. That would be if we assume 10,000 donations .0005 of the total donations which is very very very small. Just my 2 cents Ben

      • floraposte says:

        That’s fewer than five here. That suggests that there’s a considerably larger number out in the non-Consumerist-posting buyers, especially if you include those to whom it happened without their noticing.

      • ben says:

        My issue isn’t really with the problems that these people have encountered. Obviously it’s a problem when someone gets charged for something that they didn’t (intend to) purchase, but that’s the case whether it’s a charitable donation or a physical item.

        My issue is just with stores collecting donations in general. It just rubs me the wrong way and it’s not how I prefer to donate to charities. You’re right — it’s exactly the same as Safeway doing that, and I don’t like the practice there either. If others, including yourself, are okay with it, I’m not trying to tell you not to donate in that way. I’m just saying that I won’t.

    • badhatharry says:

      My beef is when business ask you to purchase one of their products to donate to charity. I was in a Carrow’s and they had a table card that read something like, “Why not donate a pie to a battered women’s shelter?” Well, why doesn’t Carrow’s fucking donate a pie to a battered women’s shelter instead of asking me to buy one and give it away? I don’t mind being charitable, I mind trying to be tricked into making a purchase and calling it charity.

    • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

      The reason this is effective is that a person who might not donate $50 or $100 would probably be willing to donate $1. Collecting $1 donations is impractical for charities, but having stores collect them is practical for everyone involved. If you don’t want to donate you only need to press no; it would be unfortunate if stores didn’t collect this money for charities because of people like you.

      • ben says:

        I’m certainly not stopping businesses from doing it. I’m not even saying that I won’t shop at stores that do ask for donations. I’m just saying that I don’t like the practice, and I don’t donate to charities in that manner

    • Maz says:

      It’s gotten so bad that I walk up to the counter and go: Yes, I know about it, no I don’t want it.

      I get some rather rude looks when I don’t let them go through the script.

  27. duncanblackthorne says:

    Gee, they aren’t guilt-tripping anyone or anything are they? :p

  28. Wang_Chung_Tonight says:

    “few errors that apparently have occurred among the tens of thousands of contributions”

    Ambiguitiy. ha.

  29. sharkzfanz says:

    I dont think radioshack is doing anything wrong or this would be more wide spread then a handful of customers.

    • That's Consumer007 to you says:

      And soon we will have advertising in every single second of our lives and never escape it, nor will we have any privacy, because just like you “nobody sees anything wrong with it”.

      Living our lives without marketing harassment is a right, and I’m going to fight for it 24/7 until my dying day, despite many people “not seeing anything wrong with it”.

      • Lauchlin says:

        Wow. Someone needs a little perspective.

        • That's Consumer007 to you says:

          Feel free to back up your empty slam.

          • pinkpetunia says:

            I don’t think it’s necessarily a matter of needing perspective, but your comment was a straw man argument – diverting attention from the real issue by bringing up something that isn’t related. Sharkzfanz said that it didn’t seem to him/her that the problem was widespread. The “problem” being that customers were unwittingly donating money (referred to as the “handful of customers”), NOT that Radio Shack is asking for donations to begin with. Even if Sharkzfanz had said that asking for donations at the store is a-ok (which s/he did do in another comment), you still can’t rebut by saying that we’re in the midst of a privacy apocalypse. It’s just not even in the same orbit as a store asking for a donation upon checkout, which is what the argument here is about. I don’t see this as an issue of privacy because the policy remains that customers must approve a donation.

            For the record, I do agree with most of the posters here that Radio Shack’s “apology” is a pile of passive-aggressive crap and if they’re forcing customers to unwittingly donate, THAT is wrong.

  30. msquier says:

    Its great that they’re fixing this. Not sure if it was just confusion or maliciousness but at least they’re responding to it.

    Now if they could only do something about that STUPID commercial they’re running right now. My husband and I don’t care that the icicles are falling! That commercial drives us completely bonkers every time it comes on! Thank God for mute buttons :)

    This combined with the annoying commercial makes us never want to shop at Radio Shack ever again.

  31. pervy_the_clown says:

    “But RadioShack doesn’t intend for any customer to feel compelled to support the fight against cancer. It is a personal choice.”

    So they’re saying you don’t HAVE to donate, but you support cancer by asking for your money back.

    It’s like that Chris Rock movie “Head of State.” His opponent runs an ad against him saying “Mays Gilliam didn’t attend this years breast cancer awareness banquet” (or something along those lines). “Mays Gilliam – he’s FOR cancer”

  32. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    It’s not charity if a thief donates to a cause on your behalf.

    • pinkpetunia says:

      I suppose I’d agree with you. Robin Hood stole from the rich to give to the poor. I wouldn’t think of the rich people he stole from as benefactors to the poor unless they were donating directly to the poor. “Charity” does imply an INTENTION to give.

  33. Andrew360 says:

    Point of sale donations are dumb. Why doesn’t the retailer just donate a dollar of their own money (for every purchase) to cancer research? They just want a cheap way of saying Radio Shack donated tens of thousands of dollars.

  34. Smashville says:

    I don’t intend for RadioShack or LiveStrong to be compelled to support my fight to live. Guess what…some of us don’t make a lot of money. A dollar isn’t a huge amount of money, but if you’ve ever had to scrounge through your car seats and your couch cushions to find enough change to buy food for your cat, then you know how I feel. It may only be a dollar, but you don’t know where that fucking dollar comes from, RadioShack.

    • qcgallus says:

      +1

      I remember eating tuna out of the can and splitting it with my cat. Couldn’t afford cat food for a week or so, but tuna was pretty cheap.

      • pinkpetunia says:

        Agree. Plus, if I’m guilt-tripped into donating a dollar everywhere I shop and each time I shop, that can add up.

  35. d says:

    Personally I hate the stores that ask me to donate to this and that and the other. I went into Borders the other day to pick up a couple of magazines I’m thinking of subscribing to. One counter open out of 4, long line, and the cashier is fucking around asking EVERY customer if they have a Borders Reward Card, If not, Do they want one, If so, do you have the card? No you can’t find it, I can look it up – let me have your phone number; Would you like to contribute to the Help A Kid Read program? You can just buy one of the items behind the counter? Well it benefits…. You can just choose from one of the items behind the counter… How much do you want to spend?

    Hey here’s a fucking clue – I WANT TO GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE DAMN STORE AS FAST AS POSSIBLE…. I don’t want to donate to anything, use any bullshit rewards cards or spend one minute more in here than I absolutely, positively have to.

    After hearing this spiel 10 times, when I got to the counter, I said “No, I don’t have a rewards card, don’t want a rewards card, and I’m not interested at all in a rewards card. I don’t want to donate to anything, and I’m not interested in anything except my purchase right here. I also don’t need a bag.”

    This cashier (unlike others) had half a brain, so she said nothing – rang up the purchase, wished me a nice day and I got the hell out of there….

    The never-ending stream of marketing drivel and do-good bullshit drives customers away… More and more, I’ll buy online – factor in the time and aggravation of driving/parking/fighting crowds/sales tax and paying a couple of bucks and waiting a day for shipping isn’t a big deal…

    • ShruggingGalt says:

      +1

      There is a reason I enjoy stores with self-checkout lanes…because you can have some control over the speed of the transaction.

      When stores put “new” things on a prompt when paying, it can REALLY slow everything down. (When you are used to the system asking things, and when to hit the buttons, etc)

    • Preyfar says:

      Hence why I stopped shopping at Best Buy (despite they’re not the “best” or even a good buy). I got sick and tired of being asked multiple times if I want warranties, magazine subscriptions, disc replacement programs, etc. Buying an Xbox 360 game should be “scan, swipe debit card, print receipt, leave”. It never is.

      I bought Assassin’s Creed II, and I was asked twice during the checkout for one item at the Reston, VA Best Buy if I wanted to purchase a Best Buy gift card “which makes the ‘perfect gift'” on top of all the other crap.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I’ve never been hounded at a single Best Buy. They never even ask whether I want an Entertainment Weekly subscription, even if I’m standing there, flipping through the magazine they have at the counter. No one has ever tried to get pushy when I say no about extended warranties and upselling. It’s amazing.

    • Smashville says:

      This is why I never shop a Dick’s Sporting Goods and am starting to have a problem with REI.

    • demitasse says:

      I’m sure it’s not the same for all of them, but I remember when I worked at Borders (a long time ago, thank heaven), we were frequently threatened with losing our jobs if we didn’t get a certain number of people to sign up for the program. We had ridiculous quotas that were impossible to meet in our low-traffic store, and of course, nobody felt like trying to get anyone to sign up because we could not do it (and get fired) or we could try to do it, piss off the few customers we had, and get fired.

      The only time I ever pushed any of our rewards programs on anyone was when I knew the customer was a teacher and could see serious benefit from out teachers’ program. Other than that, I left well enough alone and left the company as soon as possible.

    • scoosdad says:

      When asked in Petco at the register, “Do you have a PALS card?”, I always ask the clerk, “Does having it give me a discount for this transaction?” Ninety nine times out of a hundred, the answer is no. I refuse to give them more marketing data unless there’s something in it for me.

      • pjfranke says:

        Good thing you ask, as there are times that items will be on sale for PALS cardholders. A few times I’ve bought Science Diet cat food, it was on sale if you use the card. Also, after you buy 10 bags of pet food, you get one free. The card isn’t in my name, so I have no idea if it’s a POS promo or a coupon they send you, but that could potentially save $30+ right there.

    • That's Consumer007 to you says:

      You know – that’s an idea – we need to market a little “leave me alone” retail checkout device for consumers that you just push a button and it tells the cashier to shut up, ring up the sale and leave you alone. Priceless.

      Perhaps an optional manager button to lecture them on good business practices when the retail busybody nazi supervisor is called over to “dress you down” for being out of place with “store culture”….

    • pinkpetunia says:

      I wouldn’t take it out on the poor cashier who’s been trained and is required to ask those questions. When I worked retail back in the day, I’d be perfectly happy to quickly ring you up and get you out of the store. Except my boss would yell at me for not asking you if you had our stupid punch card that eventually gets you a free whatever if you buy 10 of them. The “spiel” is 100 times more annoying to the cashier than to the customer, I can tell you that. How hard is it to say “no thanks” and then take your complaint to someone who can actually influence the policy, like a corporate office?

  36. Mr. TheShack says:

    Like I said, they made this little competition out of it, and the idiots who work alongside us interpret that as a literal “SELL THIS OR YOU ARE FIRED!” ordeal. I never ask for the donation, and actually get more annoyed that I have to cancel a prompt. If someone swipes their card too early the livestrong thing messes up the transaction.

  37. baddate says:

    I feel like a piece of meat whenever I got into Radio Shack. They really need to stop trying to sell me everything on the planet.

  38. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Nice canned response from “The Shack”. Or “the shaft” more like it.

    They forgot to mention that if you don’t donate, you also support terrorism!

    LOL.

  39. qcgallus says:

    “Tens of thousands of customers have eagerly contributed to our point-of-sale collection for LIVESTRONG…”

    or read: “Tens of thousands of customers have mistakenly contributed to our point-of-sale collection for LIVESTRONG, and thrown away their receipts before noticing…”

  40. zandar says:

    If RS is so gung ho about the cause, they should put their corporate money where their mouth is and dock the cost of everything across the board $1, then automatically donate $1 from every transaction. Amirite?

  41. diddy0071 says:

    Personally I would find it offensive to be charged for something you didn’t want to purchase, but in my case, when I went to buy some Thermal 5 Compound (Gotta love having to fix my Xbox 360), I was simply asked if I wanted to donate a buck. Seeing as how I don’t visit Radio Shack unless I need something I can’t find anywhere else, and even then, I’m reluctant to buy it there, as I could get it online, I didn’t mind spending 1 buck. I agreed to the dollar.

  42. BytheSea says:

    Wow could there be a more passive agressive fakepology.

  43. Patriot says:

    I’m with Radio Shack. With how rich so many people are in the US (if you have a roof over your head, consider yourself rich), would it kill you to give away a dollar here and there to help a worthy cause?

    • richtergasse says:

      I donate my money and time, but I do not blindly give away a dollar here and a dollar there. I spend time carefully researching what charities to give my money to and give away a meaningful chunk of my income every year. I choose what I donate to and how much I can put in my budget to be given away. A dollar here, a dollar there, is not how I choose to spend money for any budget category. It’s the “I’ll just grab a candy bar and a drink” by the register mentality and I insist on instead being thoughtful about my spending choices. All those dollars add up.

  44. amuro98 says:

    Doesn’t this constitute theft? Essentially Shack here knowingly overcharged tens of thousands of customers $1.

    WHY they did it, or WHAT they used the money for is immaterial here. Theft is theft.

    I really wish someone would drag Shack into court over this asking that not only all customers have their $1 refunded automatically (yes, this means reverse charging $1 to all those credit cards, or mailing a $1 rebate check when possible) but also force Shack to NOT withdraw this donation from Livestrong. So if Shack is claiming 20,000 donations, then the court should make sure $20,000 got donated to Livestrong. Yes, all $20,000.

    Honestly, we need to keep making huge examples of moronic companies like this to act as a warning for others to keep in line, or their collective head is the next one to go on the spike.